A visit to Pearl Lake…

I woke up early anticipating a nice hike near or around a lake I had yet to visit, but as I drove north out of Steamboat Springs, I was embarking upon a day of discovery. About 25 minutes north of “town”, not only was I in complete wilderness, but the road began to become snow covered. Quite a surprise as there was no fresh snow in Steamboat itself – nor was there any indication that there would be any within 100 miles of here! 

Yet, there it was, by the time I turned off to Pearl Lake State Park, there was nearly 3 inches of light fresh powder and the snow was falling from seemingly clouds right near the ground. To top it off, the temperature was reasonably “mild” (about 28). 

My truck made its own “fresh tracks” as I drove into the state park. No one had been here since it had started snowing. I was the only vehicle parked in a small lot down by the lake. I stood in the morning light, taking in the scene – seemingly from a Christmas card! Fresh snow, bright (actually warm) sun, and a quiet lake. The trail was easy to find, and armed only with a light vest and two shirts, I proceeded to take the trail that paralleled the lake’s shoreline. I kept my phone with me and had it trained to a radio station where I was able to listen to Glenn Beck teach me about George Washington. The entire scene was really quite surreal as you can see in the photos. 

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Pearl Lake is not much more than 30 minutes outside of Steamboat, but it is a world away! It is about 1000 ft. higher than the town, and is clearly one of the more remote places I’ve been. Just north or Pearl Lake is Steamboat Lake – which exists primarily as a State Park. And…yes! They have RV hookups (I’m thinking of this summer!!) I stopped into the ranger/visitor center at Steamboat Lake and discovered they have about 15km of cross country ski trails – due to open soon! It was there I learned just how remote this region is – it is virtually and almost literally the “end of the road.” From Steamboat Lake, there is perhaps 5 more miles of paved road, and in the winter, the dirt passes (roads, sortof) are impassible – so there is NO way out other than the road I came in on from Steamboat Springs! 

In the summer, the roads will allow 4wd vehicles to reach Wyoming. Considering the situation in the USA now, its good to know there is an “escape route” out of (blue) Colorado and into (red) Wy0ming! Sans the need to leave this region, its quite a natural spot! Swimming is possible (and common) in the summer (interestingly, I found out the water temperature upon my visit on Nov. 15 was 50. Not quite what I’d look for – especially with a fresh coat of snow on the ground! 

So, I just thought I’d share! Enjoy the photos…

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 Still here? You owe it to yourself to see this…

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2 Replies

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  1. Terry says:

    Some of these pictures are stunning. I’ve got to get out west sometime soon.

  2. Alan Sills says:

    terry, it really floors me at times how amazing parts of our nation are! al

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